ITU World Telecommunications and Information Society Day - WTISD 2014, was celebrated on 16th May 2014 at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Geneva to mark the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865 and the creation of the ITU. Broadband for Sustainable Development was the theme of the high level meeting that took place on the occasion and which was attended by the IMSO Director General.
The event opened with a video message from the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Ban Ki-Moon, who highlighted that broadband networks provide smart eco-friendly solutions to manage cities and transport systems, enhance efficiency for manufacturing
industries, conduct long distance diagnosis and treatments in remote locations, and promote innovative educational applications around the world. All of these elements mentioned by the UN Secretary-General are relevant to communications at sea: monitoring transport systems; power generation including ships efficiency; and services on board ships such as health and training on boats while at sea, for which reliable high speed/high capacity satellite-based broadband communications are fundamental.
On the occasion, ITU World Telecommunications and Information Society Awards were presented to the two Co-Chairmen of the UN Broadband Commission: H.E. President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Carlos Slim, in recognition of the exceptional contribution of the Broadband Commission towards development and improvement of the lives of the world’s citizens through ICTs.
The Director General took the opportunity to personally congratulate the Secretary-General of the ITU, Mr Hamadoun Touré, on the success of WTISD 2014.
The purpose of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide.
As a founder member of the Broadband Commission, the IMSO Director General continues to promote the use of satellite-based broadband to provide connectivity to maritime and aeronautical industries at the same time that safety and tracking systems are improved, and for social communications of those on board.
World Telecommunication Day
World Telecommunication Day has been celebrated annually since 1969, marking the founding of ITU and the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865. It was instituted by the Plenipotentiary Conference in Malaga-Torremolinos in 1973.In November 2005, the World Summit on the Information Society called upon the UN General Assembly to declare 17 May as World Information Society Day to focus on the importance of ICT and the wide range of issues related to the Information Society raised by WSIS. The General Assembly adopted a resolution (A/RES/60/252) in March 2006 stipulating that World Information Society Day shall be celebrated every year on 17 May.